Pioneer Norwegian-American woman comes to life at Sons of Norway program

Malene Andersdatter Slogvik (1804-1868), a pioneer Norwegian-American who settled near present-day Leland, Illinois, came to life on Jan. 7.

In period costume, Barbara Johnson of Yorkville chronicled Slogvik's life at the monthly meeting of Sons of Norway Polar Star Chapter 5-472 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery.

Johnson, Polar Star culture director, was assisted by her husband, Ken Johnson, Polar Star president and Connie Kross of Sandwich, Barbara Johnson's sister.

The event culminated Polar Star's Festival of Women.

In 2023, Polar Star cultural programming focused on Norwegian-American women. Members were encouraged to compile stories, photos, apparel and mementos of their Norwegian mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters or special friends. Johnson displayed a notebook of family histories that members contributed.

Founded in 1895, Sons of Norway is a nonprofit organization representing people of Norwegian heritage in the United States and Canada. The organization includes the promotion and preservation of the heritage and culture of Norway and other Nordic countries and to provide life insurance and other financial products to its members.

The Sons of Norway has nearly 400 lodges in the United States, Canada, and Norway. With over 57,000 members, it is the largest Norwegian organization outside of Norway.

Polar Star Lodge 5-472 meets at 1:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, 1233 Douglas Ave. in Montgomery. Prospective members are invited. For more information, call (630) 553-7389 or visit

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